(WASHINGTON) — Vice President Mike Pence marked the anniversary of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, during a visit to the Marine barracks in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 23, 2017. Pence described the bombing as the first battle in the nation’s ongoing war against terrorism.
In 1982, President Ronald Reagan sent the Marines on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon, a country racked by civil war. The following year a truck filled with 2,000 pounds of explosives drove into the U.S. military compound near Beirut airport and detonated.
The attack killed 241 service members, including 220 Marines.
It was the deadliest attack on U.S. Marines since the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. That same day, another truck of explosives killed 58 French soldiers in the city.
U.S. forces withdrew from Lebanon in Feb. 1984. The Hezbollah is believed to be responsible for the attack, with the support of the Iranian government.
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